Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chapter 3: The Waiting Room

Alrighty, back to business.  I realized that I left out an important detail in Chapter 2.  This little photo sums it up nicely…

I forgot that on the day we met our birth-mom, she told us the gender of the baby by giving me this sweet bracelet...A BOY! We also learned his name...Aiden.  Part of the New Life policy is that the adoptive family use a name that the birth-mom has given her baby. I always assumed that we would probably use it as a middle name, but we liked it so much that we told her we would proudly keep the full name that she gave him.

Anyways, whenever I see this picture I can still feel the shock and craziness of that had to throw that in there.

Moving on...

March 3rd, I woke up with the knowledge that within the year I could have two new babies, or no babies at all and there really wasn’t anything I could do about any of it.  A few days later I went into the doctor’s office to get blood taken to start keeping track of my hormone levels and all of that. The next day, Casey and I went in to get the results and to our great relief my numbers were amazing.  In fact…they looked at little too amazing.  The last time I was pregnant my HCG level struggled to get over 200. Not good.  This time, at only 5 weeks pregnant I was well over 2000! So of course, Casey and I took our first real breath in several days, but something about the way my doctor raised his eyebrows at my tests results made me ask, “What…what is that...that you’re doing with your eyebrows?  And he said, “Those are just really, really good numbers.” And I said, “What do you mean? Like, TWINS?!” “Well,” he smirked, “with these numbers it's very possible.”

Oooooooooh Mmmmmmmmy LORD!

So we go home.  And we contemplate all the potential combinations of babies that could be blessing our home within the next year. 1? 2? 3?! 0?

Needless to say, I was thanking God that this pregnancy was looking significantly better than any of the previous 4.  This one did feel better somehow.  At the same time, I told the Lord that I could see He was thoroughly reiterating and reinforcing our roles in this matter and I humbly acknowledged the futility of trying to manage and control the situation.  Rather than being in the passenger seat of my life, I just straight up went to the back seat and put my feet up…it looked to be a longer road than first anticipated.  And it was freeing.  My own life felt like a movie and the next act was a complete mystery, which was kind of exciting.  Completely terrifying, but kind of exciting.  

So that's where we lived for a a sort of waiting room.  Waiting and hoping that my pregnancy kept progressing. Waiting and wondering if it was one baby in there or twins. Waiting and praying and preparing for a precious baby boy to come into our lives at the end of that very month, which proved to be such a complicated task. 

I don't know if any other adoptive parents out there felt this way, but I just found this "time of preparation" to be nearly impossible.  Prepare my home and my heart for some poor mom to put her baby into my arms through blinding tears and unimaginable pain. How do I do that? Prepare my home and my heart for a baby, when all that may come is a phone call that says "never mind." How do I do that?

We were meeting with our birth-mom pretty much every week until the birth. We had built a great relationship with her. We felt comfortable to be open and honest with her (we did tell her about the pregnancy), and I believe she felt the same about us. I think all of us were looking forward to an on-going relationship after the birth.  In one of our meetings we expressed to her that despite our longing to be Aiden's parents, if in the final hour she couldn't go through with it, we would understand and we would love her regardless.  I mean, who could blame her? You can't tell a woman before she gives birth to a child what it's like to give birth to a child.  There are no adjectives to describe that moment when you see your baby for the first time. So how could I fault her for not knowing what she couldn't possibly know?  But sure enough, as the due date approached she seemed more and more resolved to stick to her adoption plan.  Despite her confidence, I just couldn't let my guard completely down.  I knew that after the birth she had 48 hours with her baby before she could legally sign her relinquishment papers, and after experiencing the hard work of labor and the miracle of childbirth...that just seemed like a good amount of time to reevaluate her decision.  So, for me, as the adoptive parent, I was really struggling to simultaneously prepare for a baby to come home with me AND to prepare for this young girl to change her mind.  What does that look like? Do you buy baby things? Do you decorate the nursery? How do you talk to your 5 year old about this delicate situation? I found it to be an impossible tension. Besides praying a lot, here's what we did...we decided not to buy anything until the we got the call that she was in labor, and even then we would wait to open things.  I resolved not to decorate anything until Aiden was at home with us. And as for talking to Braelyn...we did. We were very honest with her.  We talked about how wonderful it was going to be to have a baby brother and all the important jobs she would have as his big sister, but we also told her that his birth-mommy might change her mind and we would just have to trust Jesus that He would do exactly the right thing.  It was a little confusing to her, but we talked about it as much as she needed to and answered her questions as honestly as we could.  I am thankful that we did; hiding the situation from her would have made the situation so much more complicated and messy...especially considering...well, I guess we haven't gotten to that chapter yet.

Before I close this chapter, I will tell you that at my first ultrasound I was nothing if not relieved to see one...just ONE...perfect little peanut with a perfect little heartbeat.  I hadn't seen that since I was pregnant with Braelyn. How I wish I would have grasped the kindness of my God in that moment! I was thankful, of course, but I was still so guarded that regretfully, I was a bit stingy with my thanksgiving.  I just didn't know.  But really...the Lord is worthy of my whole-hearted praise and thanksgiving even when I don't know how the story is going to go. Oh how I pray that I will remember that lesson the next time "I just don't know."

Who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been His counselor? 
Or who has given a gift to Him 
that He might be repaid?
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. 
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:34-36


Casi Howard said...

iHey Stephanie,
Just wanted to let you know that I am so encouraged by your faith and trust in the Lord. I am encouraged every time I read your blog and see your honesty & openness and how you still cling to the Lord when things seem absolutely crazy! Praying for you and all of your future babies (I think Abby is the name of the little one coming soon =) )

The Farmers Nest said...

I am beyond blessed by these posts. Can't wait to continue reading about this journey.

mandi said...

Amen to that verse! So where I am right now. I think all adoptive parents must feel that way. How could you not? It is just an impossible situation for humanity to handle.
Would love to sit with you for a while and chat. So, so blessed by your pregnancy girl. Praising our Father for that!